WASHINGTON -- If Northern Virginia is chosen over Washington
as the new home of the Montreal Expos, Washington could pass legislation that would ban the team from using RFK Stadium as a temporary home, a District of Columbia Council member said Friday.
Finance Committee chairman Jack Evans, whose committee would
have to approve any ballpark financing plan, said he believed
baseball would make a decision on the merits of the District's
proposal, but he said the city could act against a Virginia-based
"There would be enough anger in the city, including my own,
that the council could pass legislation that would keep a northern
Virginia team out of RFK," he said.
Evans said he had not discussed such legislation with baseball
commissioner Bud Selig or members of the relocation committee.
"That would be too much of a threat," he said.
RFK Stadium's lone tenant is Major League Soccer's D.C. United,
which plays fewer than 20 home games a year. Major League Baseball
teams have 81 home games plus occasional exhibitions.
City leaders also took a decidedly partisan tone in releasing
results of a poll showing Washington-area baseball fans prefer a
stadium in the city over one in Loudoun County, Va., about 20 miles
west of Washington.
"We can do it, and they can't," Evans said. "They're talking
about building a Disneyland village out there that they have no
Washington and Northern Virginia are the leading candidates,
baseball owners say, though talks also are scheduled with Las Vegas
and Norfolk, Va. A new ballpark in Washington or Northern Virginia
wouldn't open until 2007 or 2008 at the earliest, and the team
would need a temporary home.